Thursday, December 15, 2011


Hello Everyone

I hope you are well and at peace

I have just returned to Ireland after a tour of England
and Scotland running parish missions and speaking
in schools across the country.

The last day of the tour I got up early in the morning
and drove two hours to speak in a school at Barrow
in Furness, Cumbria. After the talk was finished I
then drove four hours up to Cairnryan to catch my
ferry to Belfast and by this stage I was looking 
forward to getting home. But when the ferry got to
Belfast and I was in my car ready to drive off, for
some reason the ramp wouldn't open and I was
stuck for two hours, I felt like Jonah in the belly
of the whale. When I eventually got back to our 
house I must admit I was pretty tired and 
discouraged and moaning a bit to God. I went to 
check my emails and the first one I read was the

"Hello, I was at the school today when you did the 
talk. Before you came I was a strong athiest, I 
believed God did not choose me as one he will 
love. But today when you told us to say the prayer 
in the silence of our hearts, my heart felt warm and 
I had such a strong feeling inside me that Jesus was 
very close to me. I now believe there is someone
looking down on me and protecting me. I want a 
crucifix like the one you had today to show God 
suffered out of love for us."

I can honestly say I was blown away by God's 
goodness at that moment, the way he shows us
his grace when we least expect it and when we 
don't deserve it.

Next week I will be meeting a woman called
Betty Brennan, a few years ago I heard her testimony
and it made a deep impact on my life. The thing that
hit me was when she said before she did a talk she was
always very honest with God, and she would give him her 
desire to be loved and accepted by the people she was 
speaking to, also her pride and ego and all the secret 
emotions that we all have. In other words being open 
and vulnerable before God and not pretending that these 
things are not in us. Since then I have always tried to do 
the same. I had a spiritual director called Fr Denis Herlihy 
and he said that all spiritual growth depends on honesty with
ourselves and honesty with God.

One time I was asked to come and help run a youth
retreat and the organiser of the retreat kept telling me
that he loved what I  had done and was going to get me to
speak in many different places where he had connections.
As the week of the retreat went by I noticed that it could
have been run in a way which the kids would have a much
greater chance of a personal encounter with God. I had
a dilemma, should I say something or keep quiet? I went
into the chapel and began to speak to God about it, the
more I prayed the more I felt I should say something, then
I said to God, what if I say something and because of that
I won't be asked to do all these other talks? I felt God
responded, Who do you serve? Who do you think arranges
your schedule, him or me?

I knew what I had to do, I spoke to the man about the changes
that I felt would help and there really was great grace because
of them, but sure enough there was no contact from him from
that time onwards about the talks he had promised. But just a
few weeks later my phone rang and I was invited to come and
speak at the World Youth Day in Sydney to nearly half a million
young people in one talk. I knew that only God could have
arranged it, and he was showing me that when I serve him he
will take care of everything else.

Shortly before that talk took place, I was in a gathering of youth
leaders and we were singing praise to God, around that time I
had been doing a lot of media work with TV and radio and there
was a loads of hype connected with World Youth Day. But during
this time of prayer I felt like a little child kneeling before the throne
of God, naked with nothing between me and that gaze of the Lord,
he could see straight past all the outward things and I felt him say
"It is you that I love!" All I could do was thank him that he would
give someone like me the privilage of speaking on his behalf.

As we approach Christmas and the birth of Jesus, who humbled
himself to come to us as a helpless child and entrusted himself
into the safe arms of Our Lady, I am reminded that every time
I feel down or crushed by the difficulties and pressures of life,
I can go to Our Lady and ask her to hold me in her arms and it 
is there we can always find the peace and strength that we all need.

You and all your loved ones are in my heart and prayers this 

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore


Thursday, November 10, 2011


Hello everyone 

I hope you are well and at peace,

Recently I did a talk in Ireland and whilst I was speaking
I really felt called to challenge the people to put God first
in their lives and afterwards as I was reflecting on what had 
been said I received the following email which the girl who 
sent it asked that I might share with others.

She said "Around ten years ago I attended my first ever
retreat. You were one of the main speakers. I was 24 then 
and never, ever in my life before had I heard the 
Truth spoken with such conviction and courage than I did 
the day I heard it from you that weekend. It was like Jesus 
himself was speaking not you!!! After your talk, although I 
was somewhat a shy person back then I wanted to speak 
to you. At the lunch time (even though I was a wee bit 
scared of you) I sat myself in the seat right beside yours 
at the dinner table and began to ask you lots of questions. 
In mid sentence you stopped me and asked me a question 
I shall never forget, nor the look on your face when you 
asked me: " Do you live your life for Jesus Christ?". I 
couldn't believe the brass neck of you at the time and I think 
I was a little embarrassed as I muttered something like 
"eee yes of course i do..." rather defensively. Enroute to my 
room that evening my heart was challenged like never before. 
I was thinking to myself how dare he be so rude. I don't think I 
like him any more.  He's judging me because I'm wearing nice 
clothes and make-up etc. shortly after this thought, I heard a 
very still inner voice saying "well do you?" I knew, up until that 
point that I didn't because I was afraid, but then I said to myself, 
I want to let the yes that I told him become true, I really do want 
to live my entire life for Jesus Christ and nobody else. I believe 
without a shadow of a doubt that The person of Jesus Christ 
became real to me during that weekend in a moment of grace 
through encountering you. That was it. I met Him and my life 
has never ever been the same,and it never will it be the same!  
To give a person Jesus is to give them EVERYTHING!! You 
told me my Saviour's name and that He existed and that he 
loved me and that he wanted to share his life with me !!! This 
was worth more than gold!!! His love is so powerful that I had 
a permanent smile on my face for a whole year after that. No 
doubt people knew I was happy because I could not hide it 
even if I wanted to - I had truly fallen deeply deeply in Love with 
Jesus.  The truth you spoke turned into Joy for me and it was 
completely transparent!" When I read this email I knew that
God was showing me that it is always our responsibility to 
speak the truth in love.

Several years ago We were running a retreat in London and
all the way through the weekend I couldn't help but feel there
was something missing from the message which was being
proclaimed, it was nice but nothing more than that. Then during
the final talk of the retreat the Priest said if you want to know
what Jesus wants, the answer is simple, he wants everything!
He gives us himself completely and he wants us to give him
everything in return, it is only then that we truly experience the
joy which is his plan for us. It was than that I realised that what
was mussing was feeling challenged by the talks. God's message 
to us can sometimes be challenging but it always sets us free to 
know his love and friendship in a deeper way.

I have just returned from Italy where I spoke in many schools,
and Parishes. It was a grace filled time and I was very
impressed by the priests and sisters that I met there who had
a deep love for God which shone through. Also Augusto who
was my translator who organised the trip was a great 
witness to me of faith and service.

Over the next few weeks I will be speaking to many thousands
of young people in secondary schools across England and
Scotland, please pray for them that they might experience
God's love and plan for them.

I remember one time I was struggling with my own brokenness
and wondering what Jesus was going to do with me, because even
though I was trying sometimes I would say things I wished I hadn't  
and I was feeling a bit down that I couldn't be a better person. 
That day I went to Mass and the Priest got up and said there are
some people in this Church who when we stand before 
Jesus will feel ashamed and like total failures, then Jesus will 
say to us "look behind you" and there will thousands of souls
who are there because of what we have done with our lives.
Sometimes when we serve God we may not feel popular but
we live to hear those words "come in good and faithful servant".

I will never forget a sermon I heard from Fr John Armitage who
said unless we are willing to be converted every single day we
are spiritually dead. A wise friend of mine once asked me what 
is the most important thing we can do with our lives? I replied 
that he was much older and wiser than me what did he think it is? 
He said "To bring as many souls as possible to God, starting with
our own." It was the best advice I ever received.

You are very much in my heart and prayers.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Hello Everyone 

I hope you are well and at peace

One thing that God has been showing me recently is that everything has its time and season with him, we never know when God's grace will kick in.

I recently spoke at a mission in Co Cork. The next day
a woman asked to speak with me, she told me she had
come to a point of despair in her life, she felt she couldn't
carry on. She saw the mission advertised and she prayed
to God that he would help her, but she said if nothing
changed she planned to take her own life the next day. As
I was sharing my story and throughout the evening she had
a powerful encounter with the love of God. The next day
when she woke up she had a tremendous sense of joy in her
heart and all she wanted to do was pray and thank God. She
wanted me to know what had happened to her. The Parish
Priest had said to me that when he was blessing the people
with Jesus in the Eucharist he felt that many of them were
receiving great healing. Her words shared that this was true.

 There was one person I knew since my childhood who I had
been very hurt by, when I changed and started to try to live
for God, this person made life as difficult as possible for me,
and I don't mind admitting that at times I had a lot of anger
in me towards them. So I started to pray for the person and
at first I found it very, very difficult to do so. Somehow it didn't
seem real because part of me wanted them to suffer because of
the pain they had caused to me. But as the months and years
went by it became easier until I was genuinely wanting God to
bless them and show them his love. This person had no faith
whatsoever and was angry towards anyone who did. A few months
ago, to my absolute astonishment I heard that this person had a
conversion and had become a Catholic and is now attending mass every day.  This news showed me that absolutely nothing is impossible to God and that maybe in some small way my feeble prayers and desire to at least want to forgive might have had something to do with their conversion. 

A woman contacted me to say that nearly five years ago I spoke in her
daughters school, the girl brought my book home for her mum to read
because she knew her mum loves God and would be very interested in
my story. But to the family's surprise it was the dad who picked up the
book and his life has changed ever since. The mum said she had been
praying to God to speak to her husband’s heart and let him know that
he is real, and through the book he did. To me this was the power of 

this woman's prayers and the perfection of Gods timing.

A man in his twenties emailed me to say that I spoke in his school six
years ago and at the time all he had been interested in was the
Gangster bits, so he got a copy of my life story and read the first half,
but as soon as I found God in the book he put it down. Years later he was
going through a tough time and felt very alone, it was then that some
of the things I had said to him in his school came back to his mind. He
searched his house and found my book and this time he read it cover
to cover. He went to confession and started going to Mass again and
God completely transformed his life. I know that someone, somewhere
was praying for that lad. 

Also after world youth day in Sydney I shared my story in a secondary school there and only now over three year later one of the students contacted me saying that the words I spoke had made a deep impact on him and that he had a spiritual yearning and he was looking to come closer to God. Again Gods timing is not our timing but he waits patiently to work in a persons soul.

Years ago, when I first started to speak to young people in schools, my
friend Niall and I would visit the enclosed nuns, (the Carmelites and
Poor Clares for instance) and ask them to pray for us and the students
we would talk to. It was amazing the things which would happen,
because there is no more powerful weapon than prayer and there can
be no substitute for it. We can do our best and give our utmost but in
the end it is only God that can change a person’s heart.

We have many missions and school talks coming up over the next

couple of months in Ireland, England and Scotland as well as Italy.
Please keep these intentions in your prayers and that 
I don't get in the 
way of God's grace in my brokenness.

You are very much in my heart and in my prayers.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Hello everyone

I hope you are well and at peace.

I recently had the joy to go and speak at
the Youth 2000 retreat at Our Lady's shrine
of Walsingham in England. It was quite a
moving experience for me because nearly
13 years ago, Robert Toone the leader of
Youth 2000 England at the time, sent me and my
friend Niall to Walsingham to look at the possibility
of running a retreat there.

When we arrived at the shrine we had no
idea where to start or who to speak to, so
we went into one of the fields and prayed
the Rosary and asked Our Lady to guide
us. Before long we had met up with Janie
an amazing Lady from the town who is our
friend to this day and we had arranged with
a local farmer to be able to use his fields.

Six months later we returned to the same
field to say a Rosary in thanksgiving as the
retreat became a reality when 2000 young
people (many of whom had no faith at all)
arrived from every corner of the country for
the 5 day festival. God's grace worked in a
powerful way and it is amazing to see it
continuing 12 years on. It really was the
faith of a mustard seed because we didn't even
know if it was possible and there were many
easier ways of putting together a big retreat
for instance in a large city in a giant warehouse.
But the truth is that when it is God's idea, if
we are obedient to his inspiration it will bear
fruit and fruit that will last.

A couple of weeks ago were doing a mission at Drumoghill
in Co Donegal in Ireland, and on the Sunday some of the
team went to pray at a Holy well for the week ahead. They
got chatting to a woman there who said her daughter had
been talking about wanting to hear me speak because
she had read my book. The girl came to mission and God
really gave her a new lease of life, and she was so
moved by the fact that the Lord had arranged the meeting
with her mum at the well because she had been going
through a very difficult time and this showed her just
how much God cared about her and how important she was
to him.

We had a 16 year old lad called kevin with us for 10 days,
his mum had contacted me to ask if he could spend some
time with me because he had been in a lot of trouble for
the last few years. It was amazing to see the transformation
in him and the joy and peace that he received after going to
confession, he had made a decision himself that he wanted to
change and do something positive with his life. Please keep
him in your prayers as he heads home that he can continue to
grow in the grace that he has found.

Sometimes it is very difficult for these young men going back
to the environment where they have been in trouble, please continue
to pray for Anthony as he is struggling now he is back in London
that God would protect him and give the grace to make the
right decisions for his life.

Recently I ran a weekend retreat on the theme of healing the wounds
from our past, I know in my own life that it is only when we receive
that healing that we are truly free to love in the way that is God's
dream for us. It was held at Ards Friary in Donegal and it was such
a Blessed and special weekend. For me it was lovely to get to know
the people who came over the weekend and to be able to see God working
in so many ways. One man who came told me a few weeks later that his
children were saying he is a changed man and won't stop talking about
God, but he has an infectious joy and a deep sense of God's love for

I am running another Healing weekend at Rossnowlagh Franciscan Friary
in County Donegal From Friday 9th to Sunday 11th of September and if
anyone is interested in coming you can call Paul on 071 985 2572 to
find out more details. I would love to see you there.

Just to let you know that you are very much in my heart and prayers.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Monday, July 25, 2011



Hello Everyone

I hope you are well and at peace

I recently travelled to Florida where I spoke at a
Conference dedicated to Our Lady, I was very touched
by the peoples prayerfulness and Faith. Also speaking
there were two lads from the Cenacolo Community
(a community of young men and women who overcome addictions by
prayer and the grace of God) who shared their testimonies
about how God was changing their lives, hopefully these had a
big impact on Anthony (the seventeen year old lad who was
spending a few weeks with me) who was coming from a very
similar background.

After this we did a Parish Mission in Southampton, it
was a great witness to me of the Faith in England to
see so many people pack the Church each night. On the
confessions evening many people went for the first time
in years and some people emailed me to tell me there
was great healing for them that night, and they had
experienced a deep peace in their hearts.

I spoke to all the lads in one school in a tough area
of Southampton over the course of two days. Many of them
contacted me by email or facebook and shared their own
stories with me, all of them were very open to God and
some had been through very similar childhoods to myself.
The thing which I noticed was that all of them wanted to
do something good with their lives and were searching
for the right direction, so please keep them in your

I did one talk to a Church group in Kent and I mentioned
that it was wrong that Homosexuality was being taught as
an equal right to marriage in our schools, and this to
children at a very vulnerable age. After the talk I was
approached by a man who said he found what I had said
offensive because he was homosexual and living in a sexual
relationship with his partner. I said to him that I loved
him and respected him as a person, but that what he was
doing was wrong. I knew that it would be unpopular but I
said it with compassion because the truth without love
isn't the truth. During the talk I had spoken about God's
mercy and forgiveness and that he loves us in our weakness
and struggles, but even in that we need to have the courage
to stand up for what is right, and we can't change Gods laws
to suit ourselves.

I was invited to speak at a youth conference at the Sion
Community in Brentwood, Essex. As soon as I walked into the
tent where the conference was taking place I was moved to tears
by power of God's presence. I shared with them that sometimes
when I had prayed with young people in the past I had seen an
image of Jesus crying and saying to them that he never wanted
them to suffer, to feel the pain and loneliness that they had
and that he wants them to know that he is with them in their
suffering. After this many of them came forward asking for
prayer and there were a lot of tears.

Some of the young people shared with me that one of the biggest
struggles for them is purity, there is so much pressure on them
now and at a much earlier age than ever before, the pressure is
coming from all angles particularly from the media and from their
own peer group, as I was praying with one girl I had an image that
she was looking at a reflection of herself and throwing stones at
herself because she didn't like what she saw, then Jesus appeared
and took the stones from her hands and showed her how beautiful
she was in his eyes. Ultimately it is only God who can give us
that sense of identity, security and self worth that we all so
desperately need.

You are very much in my heart and prayers, please pray for me also.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



Hello everyone

I hope you are well and at peace.

The last few weeks have been fairly hectic, as a team
we did six Parish Missions on the trot. It is always a
great experience to meet all the new people that God
puts in our paths. The Parish Priest at Swanlinbar in
Co. Cavan was so full of wisdom and good humour
that it was a joy to be with him. At the end of the
mission he said the thing that had touched him was
how vulnerable the team members had made themselves
in their testimonies. I think when we share something
deep from our own lives, particularly our weakness and
struggles it always reaches into the hearts of others.

I travelled to London to speak to a confirmation group
in Edgware, many people turned up for the talk and I
thank God that it was a grace filled night. Afterwards
I ended up praying for quite a few people and I was
overwhelmed by the suffering that some people have
to live with, but even more so with the compassion and
mercy that God has for us in that suffering.

It was my pleasure to speak at the Northern Catholic
Conference in Liverpool, both to the young people and
the adults. There seemed to be a tremendous sense of
joy at the conference and I really enjoyed meeting many
old friends, including one man who I hadn't seen in years
who from the kindness of his heart had paid for my airfare
when I went to join the Franciscan of the Renewal in New
York. I told him this changed my life and without him it
wouldn't have been possible.

I received a great grace myself when on a long car journey
I put on a CD called anger and unforgiveness by Deacon
Bob McDonald. In it he exposed that anger is never the right
way to deal with situations. In community life it is easy to
challenge people and to do it in an angry way and to justify
it by saying it is righteous anger. In truth our anger is never
righteous, only God is capable of that, and when we raise our
voice we create far more harm than good. This was a powerful
message to me and I knew that I could never again justify anger.
I pray for the grace to deal with everyone with gentleness and
patience. I suppose it comes down to the old saying that "The
truth without love isn't the truth" As St John Bosco said when
talking about the boys of whom he was in charge of "We must
be firm but kind, and be patient with them, never giving in to

About a week ago a young man called Anthony came to spend
some time with us on the team. I had known Anthony when he
was 11 years old and God had deeply touched his life at a retreat.
Now he is 17 years old and for the last few years he has been in
a lot of trouble with drugs and all the usual pain that goes with
that lifestyle. He told me that he came to a point of despair not
knowing what to do and not feeling the strength to change, he
went to Mass on a Sunday morning on his own (he hadn't been
to Church in years) and he begged God to help him. Within a few
days his uncle had contacted me and he ended up coming with
me to Medugorje where he went to confession and got rid of
everything that was burdening him. The hardest thing is for him
to forgive himself, but God has been showing him again and
again that not only is he totally forgiven but that he has great
plans for his life.

Being with Anthony reminds me of myself at his age, all the pain
and confusion and the search for love and meaning and trying to
make sense of the suffering that all of us face in life. Because of
this I find it easier to love him and accept him, because it is like
loving and accepting myself at his age. In the end it is always the
unconditional love of God that heals us and gives us the strength
to change, and even though many times I fail I know that is the
love God asks me to show to everyone that I meet.

You are very much in my prayers, please keep me and Anthony
in yours.

God bless you in his deep love.
John Pridmore

Saturday, May 14, 2011



Hello everyone

I hope you are well and at peace and have
had a blessed Easter.

The first two Parish missions back after
Easter were in Abbeylara in County Longford
and in Clones Town Co Monaghan. It was amazing
to see the faith of the people turning out in
great numbers for both of these weeks, during
one of the reconciliation services a woman came
up and said that she had been very hurt by
something that happened to her, she and her
husband had split up and she had lost custody
of her children. She realised that evening that
she had a lot of unforgiveness about this and
she brought this to the Priest in confession,
afterward she said she had a great joy in her
heart and felt as if a weight had been lifted
from her.

I travelled over to England to help with a
retreat for about 200 teenagers in preparation
for their confirmation, this took place in Ealing.
Before the retreat began I knelt down before a
statue of Our Lady and I felt she was saying she
wanted to touch the young peoples hearts with the
love of Jesus. It was very moving to see this
happening as the day unfolded, the kids were queuing
up in droves to go to confession and also despite
the peer pressure which is always difficult for
teenagers they came forward to be Blessed by Jesus
in the Eucharistic healing service without anyone
even having to ask them. I felt privileged to have
been able to be part of the day.

As each day begins I consecrate everything I do to
Our Lady and invite God into all that I do, even the
smallest things and I find that he always takes up
the invitation, sometimes in very funny ways.I was
due to meet someone for lunch in a Hotel restaurant
and when I arrived I was informed that you had to
be wearing a tie to eat there. So I went back outside
and I noticed there was a Tie Rack shop across the
street, so I went across to buy myself a tie and got
speaking to the shop assistant who was from Mexico,
I told her I had always wanted to visit the Shrine
of Our Lady of Guadalupe and she asked me about myself
and I told her a bit of my story, I felt God wanted me to
give her one of my books which I had with me and she
was delighted when I gave it to her. It is only God with
his sense of humour who could have arranged such a meeting.

When I eventually got into the restaurant I got chatting
to one of the waiters who was from Poland and he asked
me my story and when I told him about what God had done
in my life he was very emotional and he said he was
going to get a copy of my life story. I love these sort of
meetings and am always reminded how infinitely important
each soul is to God.

On the Sunday I spent the day with my brother in London,
for the first time he came to a talk I was giving and
he really enjoyed it and for the rest of the day with
all the people we came across little incidents happened
which he noticed, where I would try to reach out to
the people I met in some way to bring a bit of joy
to their lives. Now of course my brother knew me when
I was a gangster and he was very struck by how much I had
changed because I used to do the opposite. God does
change us and I think the thing which brings joy to my
life is that he wants to be with us in everything and
the times when I get it wrong and don’t love the people I
meet in the way God would wish, I simply say sorry and
start again because Our weakness is not an obstacle for God.

You are very much in my heart and prayers please keep me
in yours.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Monday, April 11, 2011


Hello Everyone

I hope you are well and at peace.

During the time of lent I have been particularly busy
with parish missions. At Berkeley road in Dublin a
woman came up to me and said "well, you've converted
me!" she went on to tell me she had been to confession
for the first time in 30 years and the following
morning she was so full of joy that she wanted to dance
her way to Church.

Next I went to Milford in Donegal for a week long mission.
It was very uplifting to see the peoples faith with the
Church being packed every night and many people returning
to the Sacraments. There were two secondary schools in
Milford, both of them put the whole school together for
me to speak to all the students, one had 400 and the other
had 700, there was a great openness both from the pupils
and teachers.

After this I travelled to Derry to speak to 250 young people
in Lumen Christi College, It was a joy to be able to speak
to them in the school Chapel and to see my old friend
Stephen Doherty who is the chaplain there.

We returned to Uddingston in Glasgow for a second mission.
I really enjoy these because it takes me out of my safety
zone and often I have no idea what I'm going to say until
I actually start speaking, it encourages me to trust God
because he said "Don't worry what you are to say, because
what you are to say will be given you" and I've noticed
that when I do this, God can and will say something that I
could never have planned and he knows every person there
intimately and what they need to hear.

I always feel God calling me to true freedom in him, not
to be afraid what people think, to truly put him in the
first place in my heart. I think it brings great joy to
God's heart when we are ourselves and real not trying to
impress anyone and it is then that he uses us the most

I also had the great blessing to run two confirmation
retreats for youngsters in Ireland. I found it a breath
of fresh air to spend the day with these kids, in Ireland
they get confirmed at 11 and 12 years old. At that age
they still have that innocence and freedom to be themselves.
They asked me brilliant questions and were so open to
the Holy Spirit, at the end of the retreats there was a
joyful atmosphere and they all came up and asked for a hug.
As we approach Easter it is good for us to remember that is
why Christ came, to restore lost innocence and to heal our
souls so that we would know peace and joy in our lives once

I also spent 3 days in Cumbria talking in schools. This was
arranged by a lady called Judy who is in the Salvation Army.
I was very impressed by her, all she was interested in was
bringing souls to God and that they would know Gods love for
them. I was speaking in schools with all faiths and
none and I tried not to have any agenda but to speak whatever
I felt God would like to say to them. I thank God that many
of them emailed to say how much it had meant to them. On
the Friday night I did a talk at the Salvation Army hall
and between 100 and 150 turned up including some of the
kids I'd spoken to in the schools.

At that evening I met a man called Jimmy who told me that
in his past he had been a gambler and a big drinker and had
been very unhappy in this lifestyle. One day he had seen a man on
the street crying and he had went and helped the man, this
incident changed his life and he ended up becoming an officer
in the salvation army. I was interested to learn that they
promise not to drink alcohol or to smoke as members of the
Salvation Army. I told him that three members of my community
were pioneers (they take a pledge not to drink and offer that
little sacrifice for those who are addicted to Alcohol).
I think that is a good witness of love for others, but I
personally haven't felt called to it, I still enjoy a glass
of wine and the odd glass of malt whiskey. I think that is
the beauty of our faith that even though we may have slightly
different approaches God uses us all to build his kingdom
if we desire it.

You are in my heart and prayers, please keep me in yours.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Monday, March 14, 2011



Hello Everyone

I hope you are well and at peace.

I had a truly blessed trip to America especially
the Men of Christ conference that I spoke at in
Milwaukee, it was amazing to see 3000 men together
to express their Catholic faith. It was a grace
filled event with many men coming back to confession
after a long time including one man who said it was
50 years since he had been. To hear some of the
testimonies after the conference was very moving,
quite a few of them said it had brought them back to
Christ and had motivated them to become better husbands
and Fathers. I would love to see more Men's conferences
on this side of the pond.

I received many emails from the young people in the
American schools that I spoke in, and of course it
just reminded me that no matter where you travel people
are going through the same difficulties and struggles.
I thank God for their openness and also for the grace
that he is bringing about in their young lives. One girl
said she was new to the school and she wasn't expecting
to able to go there for several reasons. But at the
opening Mass for the year she kept crying throughout
as she felt God saying to her this is the place I have
planned for you. During my talk she felt God was again
confirming her that this was the place where he would
help her to grow closer to him and learn her Catholic

One thing that God has taught me over the years is that
it is important to get a balance in what I do. At one point
in my life I was working 365 days a year and I thought
I was doing God a service through this. One day a priest
challenged me "when do you take a day off?" he said, because
if we don't take some time off eventually we become jaded
and burnt out and then we are no use to anyone, this happened
to me on a couple of occasions. For nearly a year I lived
with some Benedictine Priests in Liverpool and they taught
me that St Benedicts motto was "Prayer, work and recreation"
and that it is vital to get a balance between the three if
we want to lead fruitful lives for God.

I have just come back from a few days rest and even though I
have a very busy few weeks leading up to Easter I feel renewed
and ready for all the challenges ahead. Whilst I was in Chicago
I wanted to go and see a show, and as I was praying I felt God
was saying to go and watch Les Miserables even though I have
seen it several times before. At the theatre I had a great
chat with the man I was sitting next to and I told him about
my life story and what I do. A few days later I received a
lovely email from the man, who told me that he was a teacher
and he had told the boys he taught all about his chance meeting
with me, they all agreed it wasn't just a coincidence. In the
class they discussed what it means to be a Christian man and
they are now going to read my book in their class. Once again
God showed me that when I invite him in to any decision,even
the small ones he takes that invitation seriously.

This week I am running a parish mission at Berkeley road in
Dublin, on the monday morning a man came up to one of our
team and said he had attended another mission we had done in
Dublin a couple of years ago, he said it had been the turning
point in his life and now he goes to Mass every day, at this
he burst into tears and gave the team member a massive hug.
It is beautiful to hear stories like his because it encourages
us to continue and never to give up no matter what difficulties
come our way.

You are very much in my heart and prayers, please keep me in yours
as over the next couple of weeks I will be speaking in Schools
both in Ireland and England.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Tuesday, February 15, 2011



Hello everyone

I hope you are well and at peace.

After returning to Ireland from the tour of schools in England
I was struck by how many of the young people who contacted me
by email or on facebook were deeply searching for God in their
lives. Some of them have been through very difficult times and
have had to cope with emptiness, loneliness and rejection.
A few of them told me that when they were younger someone had
said to them "Remember you are never alone, God is always with you",
or words to that effect. At the time these words hadn't meant much
to them but at some point they had started to pray and speak to
God and they had started to believe for themselves. One girl
told me that she took the rosary pack we give out to the students
home with her and even though she isn't a Catholic she prayed it
for the first time in her life. I know from my own life that
prayer is the key, there are no short cuts, we have to spend
time with God and let him fill any emptiness with his love
and peace and far from it being wasted time I have always seen
that my days have been fruitful when I have invited God into
every situation.

The first parish mission of the new year was in Meadowbrook,
Dublin. We were inviting the people from weekend Masses to
come to the mission and a man came up and said that about
2 years ago he had been channel surfing on TV looking for
something interesting to watch and he came across me sharing my
testimony on EWTN. He said it had made him think about his life
because he very rarely went to church, so much so that he had
emailed me to find out if he could come to see us, however at
that time we weren’t doing a mission anywhere near him so it
never happened. The reason he came to the Mass this particular
weekend was that his son was making his confirmation and was
doing a reading from scripture. When he heard us speaking at
the mass he said he nearly fell off the bench in surprise. He
not only came to the mission but brought a large group of people
with him. This just showed me the power the media can have in
reaching out to people who are searching in their lives and also
how perfectly God arranges all our circumstances if we give him

That same week I travelled down to Waterford to run a couple of
one day school retreats. For both retreats we had between 70 and
80 seventeen year old boys. At the end of each day we held a
Eucharistic healing service with them in the chapel, the teachers
said they had never seen the lads so reverent and I think God
really touched them in a way they could understand. One funny
thing that happened was during the second day 10 of the boys who
had made the retreat the day before returned to do it again because
they had enjoyed the day so much, the teachers were pretty surprised
by this and because they thought only good can come from it, they
didn't stop them. Once again I think prayer is the key, before any
talk or retreat we would pray and intercede for those we are meeting
and ask God to remove any blockages to his grace and also we write
to every contemplative order in Ireland and the UK and ask them to
pray for our work.

The next mission was in Dromahane, Co Cork. The Church was absolutely
packed with people from all age groups, it was quite literally
standing room only. After one of the nights a priest said he had
heard confessions the whole night through, until long after the
service had ended and for most of them it was their first time to
confession for at least 10 years.

St Padre Pio always used to say "Pray, hope and don't worry" to do
our best and leave the rest to the power of God. I know for me these
last few weeks the Lord has been reminding me to put prayer in the
first place in my life and everything else will work out in God's
way and in God's time.

Please keep me in your prayers this week I'm speaking in schools
and prisons in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and on Saturday 19th February I
will be speaking at a conference called "Men of Christ" held at the
Milwaukee theater. You can find more details on

Please keep me in your prayers and know that you are in mine.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Saturday, January 15, 2011



Hello Everyone

I hope you are well and at peace.

As the new year approached it was a
relief when the snow and ice eventually
melted in Ireland. I travelled over to
London to speak at the youth 2000 new year
retreat about the the grace of confession,
which is always a joy for me because it was
through this Sacrament that God transformed
my life. One of the leaders emailed me to let
me know that at the end of the retreat many
of the testimonies of the young people told of
how God had removed from them tremendous burdens
through an honest and genuine confession.

Next I travelled to Rome to share my story with
about 500 young people from all over Italy. I was
told that some of them were from areas such as
Naples and Sicily where there is a lot of pressure
to become involved in the criminal underworld. They
really responded to the message and many of them came
up to me to thank me afterwards. Also I spoke to them
of Mary's meals which I am involved with, which feeds
over 470,000 children in schools in some of the worlds
poorest countries. Translating for me was Augusto who
has translated my life story "From Gangland to Promised
Land" into Italian and it will be published this year.
I never cease to be amazed that the book is now available
in French, German, Italian and even Hungarian. I can
honestly say I never expected that to happen when I started
to write the book over ten years ago. Only God could do
that! When I was at school I had been told I was stupid and
would never amount to anything, actually I was dyslexic
but in those days they didn't know what that was. So it
just proves to me that God doesn't choose the qualified, he
qualifies the chosen.

One of the highlights of my trip to Rome was praying at
the tomb of Pope John Paul II in St Peters Basilica, this
incredible man who gave his whole life for Christ and
burned like a torch for God until he had nothing left to
give. I felt his presence as I prayed there and was deeped
moved to hear just yesterday that he will be Beatified in
May this year. What a witness to future generations he will be!

I am back in England now and halfway through a tour
speaking to over 7,000 young people in schools and prisons
around the country. The suffering that we come across is
heartbreaking. At one school a teacher asked me to
speak with one of the students, who told me that he had
got into serious trouble with the police and he deeply
regretted what had happened. His court case was looming
over him and he was facing the very real possibility of
a prison sentence, he asked me to pray over him because
he felt so afraid he couldn't even sleep. As soon as I
began to pray God's love touched him in a very powerful
way and he was amazed by what had happened and just how
much God cared about him, he knew that no matter what the
future held that God was in control of his life and was
more powerful that any foes he may come across even in

At another talk I was doing I met a young lad who was
covered in eczema and as you can imagine it made him
itch continuously, but you should have seen the joy in
this lad and the courage he faced this difficulty with. I
prayed with him and asked God to contiue to give him the
strength to be such a witness in adversity. But in truth
it was me who was blessed by meeting him.

At one place I stopped at a cafe to get some breakfast
(a full fry up of course!) but in the cafe there was
a young girl in a wheelchair who looked liked she was
suffering from something like leprosy all over her face.
Every time I looked at her she beamed a lovely smile
at me that melted my heart. I went over and gave her a
miraculous medal as a token of Our Lady's love for her
and she was just full of joy and thankfulness and in my
opinion full of God. Now she was a truly beautiful soul.

I met up with the fantastic Ladies who put together the
Rosary packs that we give out to the Kids. These women
give tirelessly of their time and finances because of
their love for God and the young people. They never seem
to think of themselves and yet I know that among them
they have suffered such difficulties as depression, Illness
and painful problems in family situations. I have never
known them to complain and I have to say that these people
are the hidden Saints in our Church. Please keep them in
your prayers that God will give them the strength to
continue their wonderful ministry.

Through all these witnesses that God has put in my path it
reminded me of the words of Jesus "In the world you might
have trouble, but do not be afraid because I have overcome
the world".

You are very much in my heart and prayers, please keep the
rest of this tour and all the young people I'll be meeting
in yours.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore.